By Rose Barrett
Friends of a young Dubliner who sadly died two years ago are set to walk a thousand miles in his memory.
Daragh Collins was just 24 when he passed away in August 2019. With his birthday falling on this Thursday February 4, his pals decided to hold a fundraiser to honour him.
The 16 sporting enthusiasts will run at least 100km each, with all monies raised going to Dublin charity Suicide or Survive.
Among the participants is Andrew Gallagher from Mount Merrion, a lifelong friend of the late Daragh, who grew up in Kilmacud.
“We both attended primary and secondary school with Oatlands College in Stillorgan, and played sport together,” said Andrew. “Most of the participants were students at Oatlands.
“Daragh was a great athlete, he played with Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club, and with St James FC. He was on football and rugby teams for the school. When some of us went on to UCD, we had a football team called SWOXY and Daragh joined us.
“Many of us are still close to Daragh’s family, his parents Siobhan and Declan and Daragh’s brother, Eoin. They were delighted when we suggested this fundraiser in his memory, and were especially appreciative that it was in aid of Suicide or Survive.”
Andrew added: “Daragh himself was also doing a running challenge prior to his death, running 100 miles in aid of the Mater Hospital. So we felt, with the virus restrictions, this was an appropriate way to fundraise.
“Usually, we run around Deer Park in Mount Merrion and the second group meet up in Rathfarnham, all socially distancing.”
Just one week in, the GoFundMe page raised in excess of €12,500.
“We were absolutely blown away by the response and generosity. It shows how loved and popular Daragh was, it’s a really important time to raise awareness of mental health issues, particularly during the virus restrictions and lack of social interaction.
“We are going to keep the page open until the end of February so please, spread the word”, said Andrew. To donate visit the GoFundMe page here.